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Report - The British United Shoe Machinery Company, Leicester, a round up.

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#1
With the rapid demolition of large portions of the site I thought I would amalgamate my reports of different sections of the sprawling works and combine them with some recent demo pictures.

Leicester was once only second to Northampton for shoe manufacture in Britain. BUSMC manufactured machinery for the shoe making trade. Another division of the company, "IVI" made nails and buckles for shoes. The works was emormous, and was greatly enlarged in the 1930's with the addition of a large concrete building, which dominates the surrounding rows of back to back housing.

The BUSM closed in the early 1990's, but IVI hung on until 2007. They have not folded completly, but moved to the former home of Frank Pollard drilling machines, in the Corona works. I suppose with the decline of the shoe industry in N'hampton and Leicester the works never had a future really. As with all these industrys, pottery, hosiery etc the industry itself ending has a knock on effect to machine makers and other smaller firms. BUSMC was a huge employer, and the industrial estate it's works became must have seemed like a token gesture against the old firm, which boasted many welfare and leisure perks for their employees.

The works... note the large portion that crosses the road, which is long gone today!
aaold3.jpg


aaold7.jpg


aaold8.jpg


IVI in full swing
aaold4.jpg


Workers of days gone. I found this behind a filing cabinet
aaold6.jpg


The apprentice training school. Note Sam Fox on the wall:thumb
aaold5.jpg


aaold.jpg


The huge 1930's factory

bus12of42.jpg


busmc1of8.jpg


busmc2of8.jpg


busmc3of8.jpg


bus7of42.jpg


Wartime camoflage still visable on one of the older parts of the works
bus41of42.jpg


The work's fine concrete tower and chimney
bus8of42.jpg


bus16of42.jpg


One of 4 boilers in the powr house
bus35of42.jpg


bus17of42.jpg


Old sinage in the 1930's works
bus9of42.jpg



bus19of42.jpg
 

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Last edited:

dweeb

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Continued...

bus20of42.jpg


bus21of42.jpg


bus23of42.jpg


bus25of42.jpg


bus26of42.jpg


bus29of42.jpg


bus30of42.jpg


bus31of42.jpg


bus34of42.jpg


The nearby wolsey works, from BUSM roof. Now demolished
bus22of42.jpg


Even the work's instruments were embossed with the company name
bus24of42.jpg




Under the 1930's addition are some of the best preserved air raid shelters I have ever seen, with painted signs so fresh the pencil lines are still visable.

bus13of42.jpg


bus14of42.jpg


bus15of42.jpg


Shekter8.jpg


Shelter3.jpg


Shelter4.jpg


Shelter5.jpg


Shelter6.jpg


Shelter7.jpg


Shelter.jpg


And some views from that fabulous tower...
Tower2.jpg


Tower3.jpg


Tower4.jpg


Tower5.jpg


Tower6.jpg


Tower.jpg


And today, with demo in full swing.

busmc4of8.jpg


beautiful IVI enamal sign buried in the rubble
busmc5of8.jpg


bus10of42.jpg
 

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